How To Make The People You Work With Hate You

If you are reading this post because you need to learn how to make the people you work with hate you I need to ask you why you aren’t searching for a new job. Why would you want to make them hate you? Life is too short and you really need to find something better to do.

But since you are here let me share a very simple way to make your co-workers hate you. Be the person who makes meetings impossibly boring, long and unproductive. Be that man or woman who insists on speaking solely to hear yourself speak. Add no value to it and make sure that those around you squirm because they have deadlines and responsibilities that they cannot attend to because you won’t stop talking.

I cannot confirm or deny having had experience with any of these things but I can tell you that I am going to be tied up for a while so if you need reading material try one of the following posts:

As for me I am off to fill my coffee cup and pray that the little get together I am about to sit down in goes quickly. New Material shall be forthcoming ASAP.

Know Your Own Worth

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are,
it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.
You, me, or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life.But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward.
How much you can take and keep moving forward.
That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. (emphasis mine)
But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers,
saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that, and that ain’t you!”.
Cowards do that, and that ain’t you!”.

That line in bold is the most important part of the entire quote. That doesn’t diminish the importance or significance of the rest of it because the rest of is applicable too, but right now that line in bold is what really catches my eye. It resonates because a bunch of the fellas and I have found ourselves walking through unfamiliar territory.

We are a  motley bunch of boys who are all somewhere in our forties. Some are married, some are divorced and some are somewhere in between. We are all highly educated college graduates who have been working in the so called professional world for longer than we care to admit. Twenty years or so ago we would get together to play poker, hit a bar or watch a ball game. The conversations would range from the very mundane to things that were more serious. We looked at the future and saw nothing but potential. There were endless opportunities and all we had to do was work hard to reach them.

No one questioned their value or ability. If anything we thought about how long it would take to get wherever it was we wanted to be. The attorneys talked about becoming partners and the doctors talked about whether they would start their own practices. The rest of us had our thoughts and ideas about what we wanted. Girlfriends started to be more rigorously evaluated than in the past. Now we started listening more carefully to what sort of values they had and how many kids they said they wanted. I remember a few conversations where guys laughed about birth control and said that it didn’t matter because if their girls got pregnant they would just get married sooner.

It wasn’t as shallow as it might sound. It was a tacit acknowledgement that they had found someone that they thought was special. And sure enough not all that long afterwards the marriages came followed the arrival of children. Conversations evolved and we laughed about how we were turning into our fathers and prayed that the wives didn’t turn into their mothers. Retirement was still a long way off but not so far away that we ignored it. Apartments morphed into condos/townhouses and houses. For some of us extra cash began to dry up- private school tuition drained those funds as did silly things like kitchen/bathroom renovations.

More time passed and we bore witness to major changes. The Oklahoma City Bombing, Columbine and 9/11 are just some of the things that helped open our eyes to possibilities that we had never considered. And of course wars in Iraq and Afghanistan played a role too. We were the generation that came of age during the end of the Cold War. We were in our early twenties when the first Gulf War started. We remember going away parties for guys in the service who set out to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. Some of the guys weren’t retired and consequently got to go back to Iraq a decade later.

But it was different because they weren’t so young anymore. They weren’t old but the shine of youth had been wiped off of their faces.

And now when we gather we see bodies and faces that look different than they once did. Hairlines have changed, waist sizes adjusted and lines have begun to crease our faces. Those were expected, albeit not always wanted. But what wasn’t expected was how very different our forties would be. No one expected that there would be so many battles to fight. No one expected to see jobs outsourced and layoffs announced. No one expected to find out that they weren’t being hired because some twenty something-year-old kid would work for less.

So we banded together and talked about ways to overcome these things. We looked at each other and spoke about the foolishness of companies ignoring our wealth of experience. We stared each other in the eye and promised that it would get better because it had to. But that didn’t necessarily happen. The divorces and foreclosures still came. The fight to earn a buck became more serious than ever and we wondered how we came to be in this place.

Realized that much of our self-worth and masculinity is tied up in our ability to provide for our families. And when that was removed we found ourselves bereft of something that was more important than we had realized. We laugh about our twenties and talk about wanting to go back but no one wants to go back to tiny apartments, Ramen noodles and Spaghetti O’s. No one wants to stress out over how to pay for a new set of brakes. Twenty years ago we did a lot of that work ourselves but cars have changed and it is not always so easy to do what we once did even though we are physically able.

So we try to lean upon each other and lend what support we can because there are no other options worth considering. And through it all we remind ourselves that many are fighting the same battles. We stare in the mirror and promise to be our own advocates for change and recognize that part of our knowing our own self worth is taking the time to tell others.

The Perfect Resume

During college a late night telephone call had a very different affect upon me than it does now. If it was a female caller it was usually an invitation to come study anatomy and if it was male it meant that I was invited to a party. The caveat being that I was being asked to be their taxi service.

Either way it wasn’t a big deal. But these days it is a bit different. Now when the phone rings past a certain hour I begin to wonder if something happened to someone. Was there an accident, did someone die etc.

Needless to say that when the phone rang late Saturday night I was more than a little concerned. Fortunately it wasn’t anything too serious, a friend was struggling to rewrite their resume and wanted to know if I could provide some assistance.

Naturally I said no and explained that I don’t deal with crazy people anymore, be they transplanted Midwesterners or otherwise. In spite of my best efforts they convinced me to lend them some help which is why I found myself engaged in a marathon called creating the perfect resume.

I am a skeptic about resumes. I think that far too often they are massaged and manipulated into something that doesn’t resemble the real experience and background of their owner. I have a simple formula that I use for constructing a resume. It is called tell the truth but be creative and descriptive while doing so.

See, nothing too profound there, but to my way of thinking it is a bit more honest. In truth the job search process for the candidate and the hiring company can be quite grueling.

From the candidate’s perspective it can be quite challenging to find a way to stand out from the other applicants. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to get an interview because without that you stand almost no chance of being hired.

Yet if you spend too much time dressing your resume up it can bite you in the butt later on. And that brings me back to trying to describe the perfect resume. If you ask me it doesn’t exist, at least not in a singular, uniform document. You can’t be all things to all people.

That’s not to say that you can’t work on customizing a resume for a particular position and company, because you can. But you still get stuck fighting a few battles, not the least of which is that you cannot rely upon people to be logical/rational in all of their decisions.

If there is one thing that I have learned from being part of the working world it is that not everyone succeeds because they are good or the best at what they do. Far too often it is better to be lucky than good, but that it is a different story altogether.

My New Desk- I Have To Get One

I love this new desk from Details. Here is a short blurb about it.

“The Walkstation is the fully integrated combination of an electric height-adjustable worksurface with an exclusively engineered, low speed commercial grade treadmill. And it’s the first product in the entirely new FitWorkâ„¢ category of products from Details designed to bring healthy habits to sedentary workers while they are actually working.”

Seriously, this would be outstanding. A simple and effective way to stay in shape.

Top 10 April Fools’ work pranks

I found this list to be disappointing. Just not that creative. I much preferred the list here. Here are a few examples:

#6: Nixon for President

In 1992 National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation program announced that Richard Nixon, in a surprise move, was running for President again. His new campaign slogan was, “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” Accompanying this announcement were audio clips of Nixon delivering his candidacy speech. Listeners responded viscerally to the announcement, flooding the show with calls expressing shock and outrage. Only during the second half of the show did the host John Hockenberry reveal that the announcement was a practical joke. Nixon’s voice was impersonated by comedian Rich Little.

#7: Alabama Changes the Value of Pi

The April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter contained an article claiming that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the ‘Biblical value’ of 3.0. Before long the article had made its way onto the internet, and then it rapidly made its way around the world, forwarded by people in their email. It only became apparent how far the article had spread when the Alabama legislature began receiving hundreds of calls from people protesting the legislation. The original article, which was intended as a parody of legislative attempts to circumscribe the teaching of evolution, was written by a physicist named Mark Boslough.

#15: The Case of the Interfering Brassieres

In 1982 the Daily Mail reported that a local manufacturer had sold 10,000 “rogue bras” that were causing a unique and unprecedented problem, not to the wearers but to the public at large. Apparently the support wire in these bras had been made out of a kind of copper originally designed for use in fire alarms. When this copper came into contact with nylon and body heat, it produced static electricity which, in turn, was interfering with local television and radio broadcasts. The chief engineer of British Telecom, upon reading the article, immediately ordered that all his female laboratory employees disclose what type of bra they were wearing

#62: Freewheelz

The April 2000 issue of Esquire magazine introduced its readers to an exciting new company called Freewheelz. This company had a novel business plan. It intended to provide drivers with free cars. In exchange, the lucky drivers had to agree both to the placement of large advertisements on the outside of their vehicle and to the streaming of advertisements on the radio inside their car. Strict criteria limited the number of people eligible to receive a free car. Not only did you have to guarantee that you would drive over 300 miles a week, you also had to complete a 600-question survey that probed into personal information such as your political affiliations and whether you were concerned about hair loss. Finally you had to submit your family’s tax returns, notarized video-store-rental receipts, and a stool sample. The entire article, written by Ted Fishman, was a satire of the much-touted “new economy” spawned by the internet. Attentive readers would have caught on to the joke if they had noticed that Freewheelz’s official rollout on the web was slated to occur on April 1. But readers who didn’t notice this tip-off flooded the offices of Esquire with calls, demanding to know how they could sign up to drive a free minivan. The satire also went over the head of the CEO’s of a number of real internet start-ups with business plans similar to that of the fictitious Freewheelz, companies such as Mobile Billboard Network, Freecar.com, and Autowraps.com. Larry Butler, the CEO of freecar.com, later confessed to Fishman that he was so scared at the prospect of this new competition that he cried when he first read the article.